1) Please note that any interaction with our office is subject to a fee. The intent is not to “nickel and dime” clients. However, numerous inquiries come into our offices both for tax and non- tax services. Many also come with an extreme urgency driven by the client which distracts us from working on scheduled client projects. Some of the most common requests are for copies of tax returns and interactions with mortgage companies regarding home purchases. Therefore, we will track and bill accordingly.
2) Pricing of tax return services may include time required to manage client records and follow up. Historically pricing for services did not take into account the time and effort related to collecting, sorting, summarizing, following up with clients, and numerous reviews and changes to client tax returns. This is increasingly a larger part of preparing clients’ returns. Instead of an across the board price increase, we may apply an additional charge where significant amount of time is required to obtain, organize, clarify client records as well as finalize the tax return.
3) We will only collect tax information from you directly. In the past, clients have directed us to contact a broker, financial planner, or some other 3rd party to obtain their tax records. Many of these professionals have limits on what they can disclose to others. This has created delays, confusion, and at times incorrect information. We are open to others providing us with your information, but we will not contact other 3rd parties to collect your information.
4) Reviews of tax returns by outside parties may incur a fee. While clients are able to have their return reviewed by a third party, such as their financial planner, we will charge for this going forward. Most inquiries arising from this process are typically due to the third party not having sufficient tax knowledge. Also, my experience has been that no significant tax opportunities are identified.
5) Filing of extensions and amending returns may be subject to an additional fee. Fees will be based upon what is required for us to perform.
6) Holding original documents may incur a fee. Due to increasing identity theft with tax information, we are very hesitant to hold paper documents. To better secure your information we may scan your documents and shred any paper copies. However, we can’t shred originals. Therefore, there is a cost to hold the documents, send them back, or schedule appointments to pick them up.
7) Resolving IRS inquiries for returns we have prepared may incur a fee. There is an increasing trend for the IRS to identify unreported income on taxpayers’ returns. The most common issues causing this are HSA withdrawals, state tax refunds, early IRA withdrawals, and investment income. Historically, these documents are not provided by the client to be included on the return, creating the IRS notice. So, resolution of these issues, when not my error, may be subject to a fee.
8) There will be charges for preparing and filing state tax returns. Due to the complexity of various state laws, filing requirements, and at times, registration requirements to prepare your return, minimum fees per state may vary, but know that additional fees per state may apply depending on the complexity of the return. This will also include Texas Franchise Tax Returns as well!
9) Payment of the invoice and any outstanding balances owed are due prior to filing the tax return. This avoids unnecessary time and resources spent pursuing unpaid fees and allows time to be allocated to client projects.
10) Communications with this office should include your name, phone number, email address, and sufficient details to prioritize your inquiry. Follow up on client inquiries are prioritized and where possible delegated. Please DO NOT leave a message asking for us simply to call you back! Providing more details allows us to research your file or other resources, to prepare a response whether via phone or email, and if possible to delegate to our office administrator. This allows time to be more efficiently allocated to client projects.